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Whiterun Hold
Between Whiterun and Falkreath

Riverwood is a medium-sized town north of Helgen. It is located at the foot of the Throat of the World, on the banks of the White River.

It is the town closest to where you start in Skyrim and has some basic facilities available, including a sawmill where you can work for money, a blacksmith, Riverwood Trader and a small tavern named the Sleeping Giant Inn.

Riverwood is a good town to get your character started. With the work available, you can earn a decent amount of coin in a short amount of time.

Riverwood Residents

Alvor and Sigrid's House
Alvor Blacksmith
Hadvar *
Faendal's House
Faendal Follower Trainer (Common)Archery (Common)
Hod and Gerdur's House
Ralof *
Stump (dog)
Riverwood Trader
Camilla Valerius General Goods
Lucan Valerius General Goods
Sleeping Giant Inn
Delphine Innkeeper
Orgnar Food and Drink
Sven and Hilde's House
Sven (Bard) Follower

Whiterun Guards appear after Before the Storm is completed.
* Appears only if he was followed during Unbound.
† Leaves once Alduin's Wall is begun. Orgnar becomes innkeeper.
‡ Only becomes a merchant if Lucan Valerius is killed.

Quests Starting Here

Side Quests


Quest Giver Giver Location Quest Objective(s) Requirement
Faendal Faendal's House A Lovely Letter: Use a forged letter to resolve a love triangle.
  • Deliver Faendal's letter to Camilla
  • (Optional) Tell Sven about Faendal's letter
  • Talk to Faendal
Sven Sven and Hilde's House or Sleeping Giant Inn A Lovely Letter: Use a forged letter to resolve a love triangle.
  • Deliver Sven's letter to Camilla
  • (Optional) Tell Faendal about Sven's letter
  • Talk to Sven

Related Quests


  • According to The Art of Skyrim, Riverwood was the prototype for the towns in the game. It was the first area built to completion in Skyrim.
  • Across the main bridge to Riverwood seems to be a duplicated bird sound effect placed in one spot near a tree. On further inspection, you'll find what looks like four red winged blackbird models stacked on top of each other, stuck inside the tree.
  • If Stump follows some of the children up onto the lookout post on the edge of town, he may get wedged into the barriers because he is too big.
  • Across the river, directly west of the mill, is the treasure chest for Treasure Map I, assuming you have the map.
  • After completing A Chance Arrangement, there is a 20% chance of encountering a thief who is trying to break into Riverwood Trader.


  • If the Stormcloaks take Whiterun Hold, the Whiterun Guards in Riverwood will not be replaced by Stormcloak Soldiers.
  • Upon arriving in Riverwood with Hadvar at the start of a new game, Faendal may be dead somewhere in town for no apparent reason. This means the quest A Lovely Letter cannot be started, and Faendal cannot be recruited as a follower.
  • Residents are sometimes seen walking through the river water instead of using a closer path.
  • Getting your follower to kill a chicken angers the residents, but seemingly straight afterwards they don't care. There is also no bounty acquired. ?
  • Riverwood is extremely prone to dragon attacks. The corpses of these dragons have trouble "cleaning up properly", and stay in the town for excessive amounts of time. This results in bones clipping through buildings and performance drops.
  • If you commit a crime in Riverwood, leave the town for over 24 in-game hours, then return, the guards will not arrest you. All of the townspeople will be hostile towards you, although killing them will not yield a higher bounty and the guards will not attack you. ?
    • Fast traveling to Whiterun and paying off bounty/going to jail will fix the glitch.